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WWE NXT 3/31: Rating and Ranking Every Match

WWE NXT is moving towards TakeOver: Stand & Deliver taking place on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. With every title on the line and personal grudges looking to come to ahead next week, this week’s WWE NXT was the go-home show. Roderick Strong took on Cameron Grimes. Raquel Gonzalez faced off with Zoey Stark, with the Gauntlet Eliminator closing out the show.

Every match on WWE NXT will include highlights, what the storyline progression is, and a final analysis. Each match will be given a star rating and be ranked from worst to best.

Matches Ranked from Worst to Best

6) Mei Ying and Xia Li d. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter
Highlights: After a brief flurry and exchange by Carter and Catanzaro, Mei serves as a distraction on the entrance ramp. Carter leaves to confront Mei but walks into a chokehold from Mei who breathes smoke into her face. Back in the ring and Li connects with a spin kick on Catanzaro for the win.

Storyline Progression: Mei Ying and Xia Li have been playing mind games with Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter in recent weeks. Mei continued to sit in her chair and allows Xia Li to go solo.

Final Analysis: Not much to see here since it was more about the angle and story than the match. Take a pass. *

Tag Team Action

5) Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell def. Gigi Dolin & Zayda Ramier
Highlights: Gigi Dolin is the former independent wrestler Priscilla Kelly for those keeping track at home. Indi Hartwell starts things off with Dolin who is able to gain a brief advantage with a snap mare and stiff kick to the back. Dolin tries to work over Hartwell before eating a turnbuckle and a sidewalk slam by Hartless. Zayda Ramier gets the tag which leads to a brief flurry onto Hartwell, including a near fall. Hartwell recovers and hits a spinebuster before Candice LeRae heads inside. Despite the best effort of the newcomers, Hartwell and LeRae connect with the Wicked Stepsister and an Indi flying elbow for the win.

Storyline Progression: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell pick up a relatively easy win and then challenge for the WWE NXT Tag Team Titles. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon come to the ring in their tank and accept the challenge.

Final Analysis: An extended squash to set up the tag title match at TakeOver. Short and to the point. Take a Pass. *1/2

WWE NXT: Women’s Title hunt

4) Raquel Gonzalez d. Zoey Stark
Highlights: Zoey Stark puts up a good fight to start, as she flips over Raquel Gonzalez from the outside in before getting tossed off from a monkey flip attempt. Gonzalez works over Stark with an armlock before she breaks free. Stark connects with a superkick and a running knee before ducking a Gonzalez charge forcing her to the outside. Gonzalez catches Stark going for a plancha but she’s pushed into the ring post as a counter. Dakota Kai attempts to interfere but is closelined by Stark. Back in the ring, Start attempts another comeback but falls into a one-arm powerbomb by Gonzalez for the win.

Storyline Progression: Raquel Gonzalez is prepping for her NXT Women’s Title match at TakeOver with Io Shirai. Zoey Stark is a relative newcomer to NXT but continues to put up a fight, and tonight was no different. After the match, Io Shirai comes to the ring as they brawl until the commercial.

Final Analysis: Fun match that kept Raquel Gonzalez strong while showcasing Zoey Stark and her never say die attitude. Skim It. **

North American Title shot

3) Gauntlet Eliminator Qualifying Battle Royal
Highlights: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott is jumped by Leon Ruff during his entrance as the first two entrants in the gauntlet eliminator kick things off before the commercial. After the break, Pete Dunne makes his entrance as the rest of the wrestlers are in the ring. Jake Atlas is eliminated by Swerve who then backdrops Rust out of the ring. Austin Theory appears to be saved from elimination but after landing on his back, hits a kip-up to eliminate himself. KUSHIDA puts Dunne in the Hoverboard lock before both men head over the top rope for their eliminations.

The final six are locked in, but their order of elimination will dictate how they enter in the match next week. Bronson Reed tosses out both Swerve and Ruff before getting worked over by LA Knight. Reed is then eliminated after Knight and Loomis team-up. Cameron Grimes attempts to pay off Knight and Lumis but is eliminated for his efforts. Lumis works over Knight, including a high backdrop. Knights charges through the ropes and pulls Lumis out for the win.

Storyline Progression: The final six move on to a gauntlet match next week at night 1 of NXT Stand & Deliver. The winner on night 1’s gauntlet will earn a shot at the North American title on night 2.

Final Analysis: Standard battle royal but it did it’s job heading into WWE NXT TakeOver. Skim It. **1/2

WWE NXT: TakeOver turmoil

2) Santos Escobar d. Tyler Breeze
Highlights: Santos Escobar started off quick, getting Tyler Breeze on the ground in the corner before connecting with a low-angle dropkick. Breeze bounces back, unloading on Escobar in the corner and hitting a stiff dropkick. Breeze heads outside and takes out LDF before the commercial. Back from the break and Escobar regains his advantage by tagging Breeze with a running double knee attack for a two-count. Breeze makes his comeback, connecting with a hurricanrana which leads to the targeting of Escobar’s knee. Escobar is able to shake it off and hit the Phantom Driver for the win.

Storyline Progression: Santos Escobar will be facing Jordan Devlin in a ladder match at WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver, but issued an open challenge for this week. Tyler Breeze was quick to answer the challenge in question. After the match, MSK comes to the ring to run LDF to the back. Grizzled Young Veterans appear on the video wall to predict a victory in the triple threat tag match at TakeOver.

Final Analysis: Another solid match as Santos Escobar preps for his ladder match that has MOTY potential. Worth a Watch. ***

WWE NXT: The ashes of Undisputed Era

1) Cameron Grimes d. Roderick Strong
Highlights: After Roderick Strong’s entrance, Cameron Grimes continued to make his case to take part in the revival and purchase of the Undisputed Era. Strong rushed out of the strong to attack Grimes as the match started. Grimes was able to get the better of Strong early on, with a series of chops and an attack in the corner. Strong makes a comeback, connecting with a suffocation chop to the chest of Grimes. Chop exchange by both men before Strong connects with a side kick before closelining Grimes over the top rope.

Roderick Strong lands a baseball slide to the outside before Grimes regains control leading into the commercial. Grimes maintains his advantage throughout the break and after, before Strong finally breaks free with a northern light suplex and backbreaker for a two-count. Strong hits a superplex that gets another near fall on Grimes. Grimes pulls out a UE armband that distracts Strong long enough before hitting the Cave In for the win.

Storyline Progression: Since the break up of the Undisputed Era, Roderick Strong has been the odd man out while Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly do battle. During that time, Cameron Grimes has attempted to bribe Strong into selling in the IP of the UE, but it hasn’t gone so well.

Final Analysis: Good match with Cameron Grimes holding his own against Roderick Strong. It’ll be interesting to see where Strong goes after TakeOver. Worth a Watch. ***1/2

Robby Steven

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